06 January 2011
11. Kane Holbrooks, RH-RP/SP, 23 years old
2010 stats: 8-6, 2.10 ERA, 110/29 K/BB in 102.2 innings for Beloit Snappers (Low-A), Fort Myers Miracle (High-A), and New Britain Rock Cats (Double-A)
Last year's rank: N/A
Acquired: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 21st round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Kane Holbrooks was a late-round selection of the Minnesota Twins two years ago. Coming out of Texas State College, Holbrooks had started and relieved games for the Bobcats. For the most part, Holbrooks struggled during his collegiate career. What made him an interesting prospect was his strong arm and successful season season with Texas State.
But each team passed on Holbrooks 20 times when he was eligible to be drafted in 2009. The Twins took a flier in the 21st round, assigning him to the Elizabethton Twins with a role in the bullpen. Holbrooks showed off his strong arm and struck out plenty, but struggled with control and consistency.
Minnesota advanced him to Beloit in 2010, where Holbrooks kicked off a remarkable break-through season. In 33 relief appearances for the Snappers, Holbrooks maintained a sub-2.00 ERA while striking out nearly 12 batters per nine innings. He was quickly promoted to Fort Myers, where he continued to dominate.
Holbrooks began starting games for the Miracle, and continued to over-power opposing batters, even under the strain of additional innings. We may be placing too much value in Holbrook's most recent season by ranking him at No. 11, but there is no doubt that Holbrooks has the potential to be a very valuable arm for the Twins.
Ideal scenario: The Texas State alum closed out the season with a start for the New Britain Rock Cats, where he will surely start the 2011 season. Holbrooks will spend the year focusing on his secondary pitches and furthering the dominance of his fastball.
Path to the majors: If Holbrooks can refine his offspeed pitches to further emphasize his killer fastball, he won't be far from major-league action. He could reach Rochester next year, and could be a candidate for Minnesota's bullpen in 2012. Eventually, Holbrooks could be a starting pitcher.